Jerry Smith began his study of Martial Arts in Ranger, Texas under Sensei Jerry Carbone where he earned his first Black Belt in Goju-Ryu Karate . In 1974, he began studying Isshin-Ryu under the supervision of Sensei James Maples. After Sensei Maple’s untimely death, Mr. Smith sought out Sensei Maple’s teacher, Master Harold Long, whom he studied with until Master Long’s passing.
Mr. Smith has been the rock of Isshin-Ryu in Claiborne County for many years. He has traveled extensively in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia teaching self-defense classes to Law Enforcement Officers. He has also taught Women’s Self-Defense classes as well as Karate to under-privileged children in the community.
During his competitive years, Mr. Smith won the East Coast Isshin-Ryu Karate Championships, the Harold Long Invitational, the Grand National Karate Championships, the North American Karate State Championship, and the Cumberland Mountain Karate Championships.
Mr. Smith was inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and The World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame in 1997. In 1998, He was inducted into the Martial Arts Master Pioneers and Legends Hall of Fame. He was also honored as Male Karate-Ka of the Year in 1991, and Male Instructor of the Year in 2001.
Sensei Smith was promoted to Roku-Dan on September 3, 1998 by Master Long, and to Shichi-Dan on June 6, 2003 by the I.I.K.A.